March 17, 2012 - 11:46 AMT
PanARMENIAN.Net - The Sur District Municipality in the Turkish southeastern province of Diyarbakır has launched Armenian language courses for both its employees and other enthusiasts, building upon its earlier initiative to provide Kurdish courses.
“We want the same for those outside of us as what we want for ourselves. That is a must for democracy. If I want Kurds to have the right to education in their mother tounge, then I also want this for Armenians, Syriacs and other peoples, too,” said Sur District Mayor Abdullah Demirbaş. Some 40 people, including children and the elderly, are currently attending the Armenian language courses that are offered four days a week by Fikri Çalış, a volunteer teacher dispatched by the Armenian community in Istanbul.
“We provided Kurdish courses before. Now we [are offering] Armenian courses, and we are thinking about giving Syriac courses later on,” Mayor Demirbaş said.
The courses were jointly organized by the Diyarbakır Armenian Community Foundation and the Kurdish Language Research and Advancement Association (Kürdi – Der).
It would strengthen Turkey’s unity to receive education in different languages, Mayor Demirbaþ said, adding that they would continue providing multi–lingual municipal services.
The students are currently attending the courses at a room in a building owned by Kürdi - Der, Hurriyet Daily News reported.